Meghalaya mine tragedy: Rescue operation continues; NDRF, navy divers begin efforts at dawn on Sunday

Divers from the Navy and the NDRF went inside the flooded Meghalaya mine on Saturday to conduct a recce and measure the level of accumulated water as part of the rescue operation of the 15 trapped miners.

Press Trust of India December 30, 2018 08:25:16 IST
Meghalaya mine tragedy: Rescue operation continues; NDRF, navy divers begin efforts at dawn on Sunday

Shillong: Divers from the Navy and the NDRF went inside the flooded Meghalaya mine on Saturday to conduct a recce and measure the level of accumulated water as part of the rescue operation of the 15 trapped miners.

The water level is estimated to be more than 77 to 80 feet in the vertical shaft of the rat-hole coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Assistant Commandant Santosh Kumar Singh told PTI.

"The Navy divers and I went down inside the mine and preparatory exercises were conducted. I hope that all the rescue agencies will begin the operations at the first ray of light tomorrow," Singh said.

Meghalaya mine tragedy Rescue operation continues NDRF navy divers begin efforts at dawn on Sunday

Divers use a pulley to enter the coal mine in Meghalaya. Reuters

The operation could not proceed further due to technical issues concerning manpower and machineries, district officials said.

The 15-member Navy team, equipped with specialised diving equipment, arrived at the site in the remote Lumthari village on Saturday.

District officials said that the Odisha Fire and Emergency Services would press their 10 high-powered pumps on Sunday to dewater the flooded mine.

They said a team of experts from the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, have also arrived on Saturday, along with an ace mine-mishap expert from Punjab, Jaswant Singh Gill, to assist in the operation.

A senior district official said pumping of the water from the 370-foot-deep mine was yet to resume as technical experts handling the pumps were preparing for the job.

The NDRF personnel have been engaged in the operation at the mine since 14 December, a day after the disaster took place.

The mine, located on top of a hillock fully covered with trees, had got flooded when water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it on 13 December, trapping 15 diggers.

The NDRF had contradicted media reports that quoted it as saying the trapped miners were suspected to be dead on the basis of the foul odour the force's divers had smelt when they had gone inside the mine. It said the foul smell could be due to the stagnant water in the mine as pumping had been halted for more than 48 hours.

Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually three-four feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often termed "rat holes" as each just about fits one person.

A survivor of the 13 December accident said on Saturday that there was no way the trapped miners would come out alive. Family members of at least seven trapped miners had already given up hope to rescue their kin alive and requested the government to retrieve the bodies for last rites.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

NDRF evacuates 600 people in flood-hit Telangana and Andhra Pradesh; 200 rescued in Maharashtra's Solapur
India

NDRF evacuates 600 people in flood-hit Telangana and Andhra Pradesh; 200 rescued in Maharashtra's Solapur

A NDRF press release said rescue and evacuation operations continued on Friday in the flood-hit cities of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra as many areas are still inundated

Hyderabad rains: Heavy downpour causes traffic jams, waterlogging in several areas
India

Hyderabad rains: Heavy downpour causes traffic jams, waterlogging in several areas

As per reports, for Sunday, the IMD has said Hyderabad will see a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers

By welcoming Australia into Malabar exercise, India has shed inhibitions about Quad, going all out against China
India

By welcoming Australia into Malabar exercise, India has shed inhibitions about Quad, going all out against China

Just like then Australian prime minister Kein Rudd didn't want to antagonise China, and hence pulled out of the quad in 2008, India too had been treading carefully in matters involving the Chinese